About Studio 66: The Kings Desire
According to the Bible Jesus came to visit the two sisters, Martha and Mary while Martha visits herself in the kitchen Mary sat at Jesus’s feet and listened to his word. When Martha complained that her sister wasn’t helping out Jesus stopped her Mary. He replied has chosen to listen and in the end Listening to the word is more important than preparing the dinner.
It’s that Baroque message again. Life is short, Reality is an illusion And only the Word of God lasts forever Velasquez were so strikingly Talented that when he was 23 he was summoned to Madrid by the king himself Phillip the 4th and told to paint the studio 66 portrait So he left Seville never really came back But his new employers were about to discover a splendid baroque rule
You can take a genius out of the bodega, yes, but you can’t take the bodega out of a genius The Spanish Kings the dreaded Hapsburgs were a spectacularly awful bunch. Dim-witted arrogant pious Deformed But God in His wisdom saw something he liked about them and gave them most of the known world to rule the gigantic international empire of 3 billion acres.
Studio 66: A Review
Spreading from Italy to the Netherlands from Africa to the Americas but To ruled you need rulers, and that’s where it had got tricky Their problem was the usual studio 66 problem of inbreeding To keep the money and the titles in the family the Hapsburgs had spent too many generations marrying amongst themselves cousins uncles nephews nieces Even as a greater portraitist as Velazquez had trouble telling apart the Habsburg princesses
This one is Philip the fourths wife as well as his niece She was going to marry his son, but the son died young so she married the dad instead This one is Philips, daughter this one oh, I give up you need a degree in forensics to tell them apart.
The most obvious physical deformity was their lower lip the infamous Habsburg lid which stuck out around a genetic condition called mandibular prognathism. They almost all had it and that’s why that old wives tale does the rounds about why the Spanish Lisp? It’s because none of their Studio 66s could actually say gracias. They could only say gracias
But even studio 66 inbreeding as scary as this can occasionally throw up an interesting variation and Phillip the fourth who was king here in Spain for the key Barack years, Philip had the lid and that pushed in Hapsburg face as concave as a baroque church facade, But he liked the arts. He was sensitive to them, Like all the Hapsburgs Philip the fourth didn’t do much. That was right, But in choosing Velazquez as his court painter. He can at least be credited with one remarkable decision, Velazquez brought us closer to the Spanish Kings than any audience had previously been to its Studio 66s And from this close up you get to see surprised that they’re just like the rest of us floored, worried wrinkly. When the time came to paint his most ambitious offering in the field of studio 66 portraiture, Velazquez adopted the usual baroque strategy of going big but everything else he tried here was new and revolutionary and it lifted the genre to its greatest Heights.
Last many Nass The Maids, Velasquez’s masterpiece Set inside the studio 66 palace it’s a group shot of the studio 66 court `And many people will tell you it’s the greatest baroque painting of them all. It was painted in Velasquez’s life Now the reason why this picture confuses people so much. I think it’s because there is such a huge cast list involved When you first look at it you think what’s going on who are all these people? So as a helpful guide to Las Meninas Who’s gonna introduce them all to you?
The key figures, of course, are Velasquez himself on the left he is painting away In the middle the Infanta Margarita. She’s the five-year-old daughter of the Spanish King Philip the fourth and his wife Princess Mary Anna of Austria And they’re in the picture to reflect at the back in the mirror at the back of the studio
Now everybody else who looks after the little princess is also in the foreground these are her two Dwarfs on the right female dwarf from Germany Maria Biloba the famous dwarf at the court Italian dwarf on the right putting a foot on the princess is great big dog the Studio 66 Mastiff Playfully giving it a kick in the back And behind the princess you see the two shadowy figures the woman on the left, She’s the princess’s chaperone and the figure on the right is the princess’s bodyguard So right at the front of the picture you’ve got all the people who look after the princess herself and Velasquez painting busily away.
Velasquez shows himself looking like a member of the studio 66 household himself look up quarterly he stands with that Excellent moustache, and he’s at work on this huge canvas on the Left. What is he actually painting?
I think that only makes sense when you work out what’s actually going on in this picture. The king and the queen are actually standing out here. Where the audience is now looking at the picture of fresh so Velasquez is? Painting the king and the Queen who is standing over here? And the king and the Queen can see themselves in the mirror perhaps to check how they look, but also because of this beautiful game of Psychological trickery that’s going on here. They seem to be looking out at us at the same time But what’s this picture really about?
Who is the focus of all this action and all this psychological toing and froing? It has to be the Infanta herself this sweet little princess Right at the middle of the picture and because the Hapsburgs had this terrible history of Inbreeding they had nothing but bad luck in the production of children and although Phillip and Mariana had five Babies at the time this picture was painted only one of them was alive the Infanta Margarita. The princess with her blonde hair and her gorgeous The white silk dress is like an angel of deliverance at the centre of this black.